Arnaud Pezeron is passionate about watches. And he’s passionate about motorsport, too. When he began work on the MOT1ON Auto 24–the brand’s flagship watch–more than three years ago, his objective was to meld the two loves into one. SYE (Start Your Engines) is a playful acronym which attests not only to this symbiosis, but also to the excitement he is hoping enthusiasts will experience upon purchasing their timepieces.
The MOT1ON Auto 24, for example, has a pared down industrial appearance that celebrates the mechanical, while at the same time exuding a certain European flair. The case is a five-component, stainless steel construction with a mix of finishes. The flanks are impeccably brushed, while the stationary bezel is polished. The caseback, for its part, is bead-blasted and incorporates a blue anodized screw at its centre. It measures 40.5mm in diameter and is 13.4mm thick.
The dial is also steel with a textured vertical brushing. The applied indices and hands are laser cut and polished to a high sheen. Adding depth to the dial is a steep chapter ring with 60-minute indicators, but also a recessed 24-hour sub-dial. There is a beautifully cut date window at three, but the piece de resistance here is the blue needle second hand, and its smaller 24-hour counterpart, which contribute to the aforementioned flair. All these elements are safeguarded by a flat sapphire crystal with AR coating.
Softening this technical design, however, is the gorgeous integrated strap. Made from top-grade Italian calfskin leather and impeccably stitched, the custom strap envelops the watch like a cushion and comes with a signed, stainless steel, push-button release deployant strap. In many ways, I feel that the pairing is so perfect, you simply couldn’t have one without the other. It practically hugs the wrist. The colour featured here is “Impala,” but there are ten varieties to choose from.
The engine under the hood is Citizen’s Miyota 8217, which has a 24-hour sub-dial and date complication at three. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters. Production of the MOT1ON Auto 24 has been limited to 500 pieces and is also available in a black dial edition.
|Case||316L Stainless Steel|
40.5mm in Diameter
50m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Flat Sapphire /w AR|
Brushed Steel Dial
Date Window @ 3
42-Hour Power Reserve
Modified for Hacking
|Strap||FastbackTM Calfskin Leather |
/w Stainless Steel Deployant Clasp
Three years in the making, the FastbackTM premium strap system is a highlight in the SYE stable. The leather, itself, comes from a tannery in the Alsace region of France and is hand assembled in the Manufacture Jean Rousseau in Besançon. While soft and comfortable on wrist, it is also holds its shape well. But it is the system by which the straps are attached to the watch which is most ingenious. The previously mentioned anodized screw, located on the caseback, is quickly and easily removed by way of a tool provided with each timepiece. This releases the straps–which use a fully integrated steel coupling mechanism–allowing for seamless colour changes. The tolerances in this system are high and instil far more confidence than a traditional springbar installation.
There are few calibres as prolific as the 8000 series from Miyota. The 8217, specifically, is used in watches by AVI-8, Ingersoll, Boldr, and Iron Annie, to name but a few. However, the MOT1ON Auto 24 is a cut above in price range. One might expect a 9000 series, at least, for this money. However, it should be noted that while the 8217 beats only at 21 600, it has been modified in this watch to allow for hacking.
The MOT1ON Auto 24 is as much a sculpture as it is a watch. It has been pared down to the essential aerodynamic lines of a café racer–and, like those infamous custom bikes, it fuses leather and metal into one virile machine. It is at once retro and modern with a hint of bad boy rebellion. The finishing is flawless and the strap design is not only aesthetically pleasing, but truly innovative. It looks and feel great on wrist. The movement, while not exactly exciting, is nonetheless robust and capable. Ultimately, it is a watch with enough character and personality to stand out.
The MOT1ON Auto 24 retails for $770USD. For more information visit the brand website.
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